Originally Posted by Flakey
That is not what is not being said. What is being said is the assumption that by learning past events as inputs will constantly yield same results and therefore if these inputs are avoided or added they will yield desired outcomes is simplistic because it fails to take in consideration the degree of human agency that cause events to unfold and the context in which they occur.
We don't study and research the past to come up with solutions to potential future situations. We study the past to understand on how we came to be where we are today.
To assume that one can formulate human action and reaction based on the past is what is pompous.[mod edit]
History is the study of human activities. Through it people can gain a much better understanding of how groups of people tend to interact. Over time you get a good feel for humanity, and you are frequently less surprised when people react in certain ways. That said, it is not "predictive" in any way, and there are no formulae, no blueprints to peace and prosperity.
‘Studying the past has a way of introducing humility…because it suggests the continuity of the problems we confront and the unoriginality of most of our solutions for them.’ – John Lewis Gaddis, ‘The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconstructions, Provocations’ (1992)
History is hugely beneficial, but largely because of the perspective it gives us.